A faster way to make mobile apps that deliver real results

HANA Cloud Platform

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Everyone wants to get more – more speed, more simplicity, more value – from their existing enterprise systems. But according to Lion innovation leader Shane Rose, organisations don’t have to spend a fortune on S/4HANA to start down the right path. Freya Purnell reports.

When a group was assigned the task of looking at how to introduce digital innovation to foot and beverage giant Lion, mobile apps seemed like a great place to start.

Having undertaken a major transformation program which involved the deployment of a number of SAP products, Lion had was licensed for SAP HANA Cloud Platform, though it had not yet utilised the solution.

They began undertaking a formal storyboard process with users, designing and developing apps using SAP’s Splash and Build software.

“We quickly found that our users are very IT savvy and well-equipped. So we decided to build capability within our business community to use Splash,” Rose says.

“Now we get the business to go through the Splash design process by themselves, how they feel they want the app to look, and they bring that to the table. That’s where the discussion starts, whereas previously it started earlier with getting some ideas on a whiteboard.”

This lean delivery method has enabled Lion to deploy a range of apps, with development times ranging from just five days right up to more complex three-month projects.

One of these rapidly created apps is the company’s Job Safety Risk Assessment tool, which digitised a previously paper-based pre-work safety assessment.

“We found that people were not filling the form out, and when they did, we didn’t know where it is. We were able to quickly create an app that hooks into the back-end system. Users can work through the questions, take a photo and submit it. We have had a huge uptake where people are actually generating their JSRAs now, and we can monitor and build some metrics around that,” Rose says.

At the more complex end of the spectrum was a app for customer appointment scheduling and recording, built on top of Lion’s existing Siebel CRM system. Having received a quote from a third-party for around $700,000 to create the solution, the internal IT department was able to develop and deploy an app using the HANA Cloud Platform for about a third of the cost.

The app allows the company’s sales executives to use a drag-and-drop interface to schedule their sales calls, making it easy to plan their weeks, as well as to guide them through the structured process required by Lion when doing customer calls. Though the three-month development process was quite lengthy in comparison to their other apps, the app has quickly demonstrated its worth.

“Using the app has basically saved each sales executive about 40 minutes a day, rather than going into Siebel. In dollar terms, that saves us about a million dollars each year,” Rose says. It is also a far more accessible solution.

“It actually performs better, because we’re interfacing into the Siebel business layer, rather than the UI layer of Siebel. The performance has increased and the usability is through the roof. There’s very positive feedback about its simplicity.”

Lion’s experience shows that it’s possible to get going with digital relatively painlessly.

“A lot of people think you have to go for HANA to start your digital journey. HANA is a great long-term vision and you should be starting that journey, but if you want to start a footprint now, you can begin that journey without huge investments,” Rose says.

Shane Rose will be presenting a session on how Lion achieved these results, including a demonstration of the apps, at the Mastering SAP Conference to be held in Melbourne from 21-23 May. For more information and to register, visit www.masteringsap.com/aus/. Inside SAP is delighted to offer a Special Super Saver Offer (save $700 on the standard rate) – simply use code InsideSAP when registering for Financials, HR & Payroll or Technologies.

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